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JWR 3.32 - Insanity
Maybe youíve come home from an exhausting day, an exhaustingly boring day, an exhaustingly infuriating day, an exhaustingly physically tiring day and youíve decided you just want the sit on the couch for half an hour and drink a Vanilla Coke and watch a TV program, or you want to read a couple chapters in a book or you want to lay down and hear nothing but the electricity running through your house. Oh, to live alone, because most of us get off of work at the same time and no matter what youíre doing, when the other person comes home, the first thing they do is make some noise. You hear the radio or TV come blaring down the hall from their bedroom, the traffic report on the rock station with the intro consisting of road construction sounds, movie dialog lines, screeching and shitty music all rolled and overlapped into and through a five second time slot. And then the questions, always the same questions and you give the same answers with a variety in your tone to make is sound new, donít dare to answer originally because it would lead to...more questions. You sit outside and your neighbors decide to talk to each other from their respective yards, which your house divides so they must yell and cause you to read the same sentence ad nauseum. Good fences...I like Frost, but nowadays there would have to be good soundproofing.
Several years ago I went on a trip to Waterford with an old friend of mine. We went back deep into a wooded area and met up with some hillbillies who were shooting guns at targets. I have never experienced so many mosquitoes in my life. They were, for lack of a better word, ravenous. We had to spray Deep Woods Off on every inch of our bodies that wasnít covered by clothing. Iíll give credit, it worked well. For our faces, we sprayed our hands and applied it like cold cream. They were everywhere. We wore ear plugs and I had to adjust mine, and for the couple seconds they were off, mosquitoes were after that small spot in my ears where the plugs were. They went after eyelids and between fingers, through clothing, socks, inside collars. I stood there perfectly motionless, attempting to maintain control, fists clenched, teeth ground together. Like an angry Chinese water torture.
Through walls and floors sound is stripped and all you hear is washed out bass. Voices become hollow and unintelligible, they all start sounding alike and the worst part is, you almost can tell what theyíre saying. Itís just outside your range of perception.
People with tinnitus, constant ringing of the ears, are sometimes told by doctors to go to sleep with the TV on as sounds can cancel each other out. White noise, or the sound your TV makes when the cable goes out, back before digital cable anyways, is a therapy for those with tinnitus. Sometimes my TV or my computer will have a subtle, low pitch whine or ring to them. If it goes on long enough, I have to restrain myself from hitting it or, a step further, knocking it to the floor. I remember a short story by Stephen King where a guy saw a small human-like creature living in his typewriter (?) who was eventually killed by a kid who shot the infrared beam from a remote control into the typewriter until the little guy exploded all over the clear plastic viewer. Was it the same story or a different one where a character stood, back to the TV, put the remove control into his mouth and turned on the TV as the beam went through his head?
Last week at work, one day I was leaving for lunch and I grabbed something, I canít remember what, from a counter top near the door to the parking lot and heaved it at the collection of empty Culligan water bottles next to the water cooler. It made a terribly satisfying and prolonged racket and it made me feel significantly better. I donít recall what my problem was, all I can say is, I feel fortunate that I didnít decide to wait until I was driving.
I thought I was better, even a little better. I thought things wouldnít get to me the way they used to always get to me. I thought I had become mature enough to deal with the people who donít care and only look out for number one. I thought I had developed a back bone capable of carrying the emotions I gather throughout the days and not letting them slip, one by one.
A little mindless destruction. A little sanity grabbing.
Why canít you write? Why canít you sit down and let the thoughts flow?
I need the white noise to drown out the TV and radio and voices through walls. The incessant yammering on insignificantly benign things, footsteps and creaking floor boards overhead, a can dropped onto others in a blue bag, a pop top cracking open, a chair squeaking, a comment made to a recorded program--to someone who canít answer and the endless toe tapping. I need the white noise only to hold it together, how can I possibly do any more? How can I be expected to do any more? How can you expect any more of me? How can I reach in and pull more out? Where will it come from because Iím empty?
I have had an office of my own at work since January. Itís small, cramped, hot in the summer, cold in the winter, but itís mine. Sometimes I feel like I can get work done for the first time, my desk used to be located in the accounting department where four women would talk all day long about scrapbooking and making beaded necklaces and you canít listen to Sevendust, but there was no one to hear complaints about the easy listening that was acceptable.
Iíve waited this long to say what Iíve been thinking and feeling all day long: Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck, all this fucking bullshit, stupid ass dumb fuck yammering about nothing. You: make up your fucking mind. You: shut the fuck up. You: leave me the fuck alone. Get your shit together and call me one time. I donít need to hear the specifics, I have nothing to do with it.
I know why people go insane. I know why. They canít move past something. They contemplate it, they donít dismiss it. Normal people can dismiss the TV in the background. Normal people can accept the endless phone calls from someone who doesnít know what the fuck theyíre talking about. Normal people can move on after a relationship is over. Normal people can get past the fuck on the road that you really have a strong desire to kill. Itís close, I think. This is why there are weekends. If people worked seven days a week, or even six days a week now, there would be endless slaughters. If I had to go into work and kill everyone, I have an idea of where to start and what route to take and who to take out first when there is more than one person in a room at the same time. The insane person doesnít have a choice, they have to do this thing. Normal people can choose not to go on a rampage.
Iíve never talked to my toaster. Thatís not me.
I got five on it. I got five. What you got, nigga?
Damn, I think I got two bucks in my sock, nigga.
Well that's that, fuck it. I think I got three bucks in my backpack,
enough to get a phat sack.
You got some zags?
Not at all, man.
Let's get some from the stoí.
Foí sho, because a nigga need a Tall Ken.
Damn, open the door, blood.
Nigga, where my keys at?
I don't know? Remember I gave 'em to you to go get that weed sack.
Oh here they go, in my sock.
Put your seat belt on, cuz there's hella cops parked up the block.
Well nigga, bust a U-ey then.
Nigga fire up that doobie then.
You major skaníless, partna.
Well sue me then.
Oh, be like that on a roach?
Nope, look at them hoes!
Man fuck them tricks, nigga let's get smoke! Pass the doobie to the left
Whoa! What the fuck wrong wit you?!
Copyright © 2003 John Lemut